Sunday, March 15, 2009


Surprise!  I'm in Houston!  I flew down here for a few days to surprise my friend Emily with a visit over her spring break from teaching.  I came in late Friday night, when her roommate Katie and Emily's mom JoAnn picked me up at the airport.  Emily was completely surprised and blown away, which we had definitely hoped for!  On Saturday, the big plan was to attend the Houston Rodeo which is going on right now, for which Katie had won tickets for at work.  I was obviously excited, as what better quintessential Texas activity would have been better than the Rodeo!
This was really a fun experience, that often left me gasping, cringing, and then cheering.  Katie was mostly eating.  :) 

Here is Steer Wrestling.  This is when the cowboy JUMPS OFF HIS HORSE AND ONTO THE STEER and wrestles it to the ground as fast as possible.  This seemed liked lunacy.

Then there is, of course, Bull Riding. 
 This also seemed like lunacy.  I'll be honest - I'm pretty sure most of these events came about by a bunch of guys standing around, drinking beer, and daring one another to do complete stupid things.  And now it's a sport.

One fun event was the chuck wagon races.  This was kind of like the entertainment in the middle of a Brewers baseball game where the crowd picks which Sausage they want to win the race around the bases.  Nothing really comes from it, just lots of silliness and cheering.  I cannot explain how fast these little wagons were going.  It seemed like one of them was going to tip over for sure going around the barrels!

One of the funniest events was labeled "Mutton Bustin'," which is when 4-6 year-olds ride sheep for as long as they can. Seriously - I think this would be considered child abuse in any other state.  But this was also the event that the crowd definitely cheers for the participants the loudest, and the kids obviously love it.  This picture is of the winner, that by far gripped the sheep the longest.  Most fell off within a second or two - but this little guy stuck on there like glue!

And of course, what Rodeo wouldn't be complete without fireworks!  Inside!

I am definitely having a blast, and look forward to a few more days staying with Katie and Em.

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